Guest Blogger

When Does It Stop?

Filed By Guest Blogger | November 28, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: American hate groups, Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, NOM, Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Brody Levesque has spent most of his career keeping an eye on American politics as a wire service correspondent. He runs Brody's Notes and Scribbles, a daily news blog.

Earlier this week, FRC was included in a list of 18 hate groups because, as the SPLC's Winter 2010 "Intelligence Report" explains, the group has "continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexual and other sexual minorities." This, according to the Advocate and countless other LGBTQ & mainstream media outlets. Predictably...

"In demanding an apology, FRC president Tony Perkins called the Southern Poverty Law Center "a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing."

Brian Brown at NOM, another 'injured' recipient of the SPLC's hate group designation said:

"This is an absurd distraction emanating from a once-great organization's real mission---with all the actual hate groups out there, how can Southern Poverty Law Center stoop so low? This report is not an attack on NOM but on the majority of Americans who believe that to make a marriage you need a husband and wife. It is also further proof of what NOM has been saying: today's gay marriage movement is no longer about tolerance, live or let live--it's about driving out dissenting voices from the public square.

Gay marriage now serves as the tip of the spear to a new campaign to demonize and generate hatred against those who adhere to traditional views of sex and marriage."

Of course I could go on with the dog & pony show regarding the SPLC's report but there's no point to that. Instead, I have to ask a simple question: "When does it stop?"

I am tired of the non-stop barrage of hatred that spews out of the mouths of these high priced Washington D. C. based lobby outfits, whose sole purpose is predicated on their belief that their God calls them to interfere with the private sexual lives and reproductive rights of their fellow citizens. I've actually read that rather quaintly outdated bit of fictional literature, and no where does it command them to strip their neighbors of dignity, happiness, and pursuit of personal freedoms and expressions of love. Yet, in reality, this is precisely what Tony Perkins, Brian Brown, and a host of these alleged Christians and organisations campaign for.

Now, in fairness, LGBTQ people do present a 'clear & present danger' to these organizations.

Simply? If being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, was treated as a condition of a variant of humanity, say like one's skin colour or hair colour, the there'd be no need to demonise LGBTQ persons. No campaign, No threat, equals No money.

There is the unspoken truth that organised religion will not discuss. Its the proverbial elephant in the room, as most religions have stopped being a force for good and a loving outlet to ease a human's path through life and instead have become big business. Which, I need to add, according to considerable recent study of this issue by a group of pollsters and journalists, has spent an amazing $1,4 billion dollars on just waging a war against the LGBTQ citizens of the United States since 1977.

Imagine if that sum had been spent instead on food, medicines, housing, clothing, or some other form of charitable work.

These people use religion as a weapon and as an ongoing business concern. The focus of what was once the basis for the message preached by that young Jewish carpenter has literally been lost in the translation. So much in fact that I doubt he'd even recognise his message of 'Love Thy neighbor as Thy self' in the onslaught of the propaganda put out by these groups and individuals.

Josef-Goebbels.jpgThe Nazi Party minister of propaganda, Josef Goebbels, would be impressed by this lot, in particular Perkins & Brown. They're slick, well funded, and stay on message never straying far from insuring that Americans see the supposed inherent evil of Gay & Lesbian people. Oh, and I must not leave out the bathroom battles over the Trans folk.

When does it stop? I'm a political reporter and have been for over 33 years now, and have watched the growth of this religious claptrap overtake common sense and the political process of the United States with alarm. They truly are not much different that the hardcore Nazi party propagandists that flooded the German republic with tales of the evils of the Jewish people. I also should add or anyone who didn't conform to the "ideals" of the so called Aryan model which also did include LGBTQ people as well. The relentless fiction led to the destruction of Europe and the pointless deaths of millions.

Am I being fair by comparing the Christian right to the Nazi party ideology? I see it as a parallel comparison. For example, Peter Spriggs, a senior fellow at Perkin's & Company's Family Research Council has made public statements calling for the re-criminalisation of what they term homosexual behaviour. Jail people for expressing their love? Too many LGBTQ folk Peter, hell it'd overwhelm the already overburdened American criminal justice system. perhaps establishing Nazi style concentration camps would be a better choice?

When does it stop? Its gotten so bad that now the so-called Christian right exports this crap to places like Uganda where extremist elements of this flawed theological nightmare introduced legislation that provided for the application of capital punishment for repeat offences of homosexual behaviour. Yes, American Christians...

I cannot adequately express the level of disgust I have when viewing the never-ending parade of garbage that flows from these people. They do not like to be held accountable for their inflammatory rhetoric that directly influences other people to take actions that do lead to the injury and sometimes death of LGBTQ human beings. Every-time another Gay teenager or young adult takes his life or her life because of incessant bullying-the direct cause is the FRC and their ilk. When does it stop?

The truth is that the only way to end this madness is to cut off the many heads of this creature, this modern day Hydra by eliminating their sources of revenue. The most effective way is precisely what the SPLC has done by exposing them for what they are- hate groups.

Tony Perkins? Brian Brown? You folks want an apology? No, I think not. Rather I think that you two and your viperous organisations should be investigated for crimes against humanity although that's just wishful thinking.

When does it stop?

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Normally I roll my eyes when people try comparing others to the Nazis, but Brody Levesque hit the nail on the head. I think it's especially important how he brought up this 'business-side' of organizations like the FRC which I feel we sometimes forget to mention because we get so caught up in the propaganda they're spewing.

This article made all the right connections which, while the information is not new, it's rare to see all nicely tied together in one article. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm keeping a copy of this piece for my files so I don't forget how to stay on point when discussing groups like the FRC.

Regan DuCasse | November 28, 2010 1:31 PM

If one looks at the socio/political activity of segregationists who supported Jim Crow, and yes...the Nazi propaganda, it's RESEMBLANCE to what orgs like NOM and FRC are saying is distinct and nearly EXACT.
SPLC, and other hate watch groups do not take their definitions nor make them lightly regarding hate.
On some level, the FRC acknowledged the SPLC's history in social justice, but suddenly is critical of being included in their designations for hate groups.

How hate IS defined, and it's context to entire organizations is very clear. Tony Perkin's, rather than examine what he has said and done to deserve the tag, he's claiming being victimized by it.
He seems to understand the gravity of that tag, but chooses to complain that the SPLC is wrong and the designation unfair.

The level of irony, if not hypocrisy is truly breathtaking, isn't it?

Starting with FRC's target and their virtual SOLE interest in what that target does or doesn't do, is the start.
Gay people are AS distinct a minority as Jews and blacks. Gays have been at the receiving end, like Jews, of mankind's longest and bloodiest hatreds.
And also like Jews, were victims of a determined extermination during the Holocaust. And also like Jews, sometimes have had to hide identity to be able to integrate and obtain self determination and self reliance.

History is an inconvenient thing to the FRC, as are facts and evidence. Regardless of the mutual responsibility that gay people have anywhere, are still disengaged FROM full capacity, protections and freedoms in that citizenship. THAT is something that the FRC pursues as fervently as Jim Crow supporters pursued white supremacy.
And there is little difference in specifically, how sexuality among blacks and gays is similarly demonized in public. While in private, exploited.

The FRC and so on might complain, cry foul or deny they have any tacit or overt connection to the violations on gay lives.
Even gay children or those though to be.
But the Klan denied any involvement in lynchings, coercion or threats on blacks too.

It's the RESULTS of demonizing a minority that matter, and if actual violence and intimidation takes place, then their rhetoric has worked.
They COUNT on faceless voters, street thugs and the ignorant and fearful masses to do their dirty work, because that is precisely who they are talking to.
And even as gays and lesbians are excised from the protections of the Constitution, and those who interpret the Constitution as inclusive of gays (such as in the case of the IA justices) those people are punished with a profound loss of some kind.
Very much how the Nazis were able to build their power against Jews.
And all too convenient target because of their minority status.

These hate groups earned their tag. And don't even have the courage to own it.
And will gloat over their power to deny protections for gay people, as they are complaining that they have no power against the 'militant homosexual agenda'.

I have been hoping they will fall under the steam roller they've set in motion.
They want to engage the government against gay citizens, while they complain that the government has better things to do than be concerned about the rights of those gay citizens.

The flipping and dodging they do is frustrating beyond belief, but eventually needs to land somewhere.
And I think that their activity as a hate group can be shamed in another direction.
Considering they claim their interests in families and children is part of their agenda, then it begs telling them that domestic violence, child poverty and the neglect of children amassing in foster care deserve their attention MORE.
They should be questioned all the time on why so much focus on gay people and NOT on domestic violence which kills entire families and will get worse in this economy.

They deserve to be shamed that way. Perhaps at least leaving gay people alone will help gay people realize their full potential AND families in crisis are served as well.
Win, win...and it's high time the FRC and so on knew that.


Why give a group like the FRC an out for their antigay hate speech? They should be held accountable for what they've said.

Besides, they're not stupid, they know all these things that are hurting families and children. I think one of the points Levesque was getting at is that those issues don't bring in the money for them (or the power and influence they desire).

Granted, I don't see how all the money they've spent, especially recently, on antigay initiatives benefits them monetarily, it must in some way or they wouldn't be attacking the SPLC as intensely as they are.

Regan DuCasse | November 30, 2010 12:28 AM

I don't expect that they'd have an out for their anti gay hate speech.
But I think they deserve to be braced on how they spend their money and if it's doing anything.
Nearly a 100 million dollars was spent to re-ban gay marriage in CA, but actual marriages, children and families suffer from divorce, poverty and domestic violence.

So NOM and FRC should be forced to explain how giving them money, prevents all these things and how does keeping gay people from marrying do it?

FRC keeps throwing the onus from themselves, but they ARE less about saving marriage and families, and using nearly ALL their resources to interfere with gay people.
How does their 'work' help anything?

They are a hate group to be sure, but if the public is reminded not just of that, but how irrelevant they are to saving anything of substance that might matter more.

DesDownunder | November 28, 2010 3:07 PM

I too commend Brody's article, but I want to convey my thoughts on these two comments.

The rational analysis of both comments is very much to be praised. I believe the community needs this kind of approach to confront and defeat those who seek to subvert our existence through manipulation, indoctrination, ignorance and fear.

Unfortunately too many LGBT people are still harassed into believing they are second class humans. Too many of us are deprived of even the means to know about the subjects raised by Brody and his respondents here.

It stops when people are mature enough to treat religion as an idea and not the "truth."

It is happening, but certainly not fast enough. Education helps.

It will stop when everyone of us LGBTQ persons stands up, comes out, and demands equal justice under the law. If we are indeed 10% of the population, that number rivals other minority statistics. If we banded together with just one other minority group, we could be a political force. A force that could do serious damage or serious good for the country. If we don't get our own Civil Rights Act soon, we will literally have to hold the politicals feet to the fire.

NOM wasn't classified as a hate group, only as an anti-gay group, along with Concerned Women for America and a few others.

The FRC and AFA, however, did get the "hate group" designation.

It doesn't stop. NOM may say they're only interested in keeping marriage "between a man and a woman" but we've learned that they never stop with one right.

Peter Spriggs let it slip a little I think when he pretty much admitted that they wouldn't stop fighting against gays until there wasn't a single right left to take away. There is no compromise or middle ground at which they would stop.

Religion is the cause and it will stop when people see religion for what it really is. Some new polling data:

The world is deeply divided on the question of whether religion is a force for good, a survey by Ipsos Reid suggests.

The pollster found that 48 per cent of the more than 18,000 people it reached online in 23 countries agreed that "religion provides the common values and ethical foundations that diverse societies need to thrive in the 21st century."

A bare majority — 52 per cent — thought otherwise. They agreed with the sentiment that "religious beliefs promote intolerance, exacerbate ethnic divisions and impede social progress."

Read more:

Religion is going out of business.